How to Hip Thrust

by Krissy Cela

What is a Hip Thrust?

By far, one of the best exercises to train your glutes and build that booty! The hip thrust is a popular and highly effective weight training exercise to strengthen the major leg muscles, especially your glutes. Not only does it switch them on, it can help ‘grow’ your glutes too. It is compared to a glute bridge, however whereas a glute bridge is performed from the shoulders on a mat and is traditionally a bodyweight exercise, the hip thrust is performed on a bench, usually with a loaded barbell.
The hip thrust works very well with exercises such as deadlifts and lunges, focusing on all areas of the gluteal muscles. It can be performed with dumbbells, but for the purpose of this ‘how to’, it is explained below with a barbell.* 

Muscles Used: Glutes, hamstrings, core, quads

Variations: dumb bell hip thrust, single leg hip thrust, banded hip thrusts

Method:

1. Start by loading the bar with bumper plates. Bumper plates (the big round plates) are best as they allow you to lift and manoeuvre the bar more easily.
2. Sit on the floor with your back against a bench and roll the bar over your hip bones. It is useful to use some sort of padding over the bar or over your hips and pelvis (a thick jumper can work) to prevent any discomfort.
3. Engage your core, bracing your abdominal muscles. Hold the bar where it is comfortable, usually either side of your hips. Do not push the bar into your hips, just support it throughout the exercise.
4. As you exhale, push the bar from the hips up, forming a 90-degree angle with your feet, knees and hips.
5. Adjust your shoulders by aligning the bottom of your shoulder blades (bra strap area) against the side of the bench. Squeeze your glutes at the top for a few seconds.
6. Push your heels into the ground as you lift the bar up. If this is uncomfortable, turn your feet out a little. Try not to come up onto your toes throughout the movement.
7.Do not look up; take your eyeline towards the bar so that your chin is parallel to your chest. Maintain this posture throughout the move as it leads to greater glute engagement.